January 31, 2022

Indiana House Republicans vote to further restrict mail-in voting

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Lawmakers on the Indiana House floor debate a bill to further restrict vote-by-mail.  - Brandon Smith/IPB News

Lawmakers on the Indiana House floor debate a bill to further restrict vote-by-mail.

Brandon Smith/IPB News

Listen to the broadcast version of this story.

House Republicans voted Monday to further restrict when Hoosiers can vote by mail.

The GOP wants to encourage in-person voting – but Democrats call the measure “voter suppression.”

Currently, there are several reasons Hoosiers are allowed to cast a mail-in ballot. One is if you won’t be available to vote on Election Day. Under a bill, HB 1116, headed to the Senate, you would now also have to attest – under penalty of perjury – that you won’t be available to vote in-person any time in the 28 days before the election.

Rep. Tonya Pfaff (D-Terre Haute) said that’s going the wrong way.

“Most voters won’t risk trying to figure out their calendars, transportation needs, child care, work schedules just so they can request an absentee ballot," Pfaff said. "Instead, they just won’t vote.”

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House Speaker Todd Huston (R-Fishers) said there are plenty of in-person voting opportunities – which is true in some counties.

“Every person in this chamber wants to encourage voting as much as possible. And I’m proud to say, in Indiana, I believe we’ve done that.”

According to the Indiana Civic Health Index, the state recently dropped from 41st to 46th in the country for voter turnout.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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